Katcho Achadjian, an Armenian-born naturalized American citizen who came to San Luis Obispo County as a young man, worked his way through Cuesta College and Cal Poly, raised a family, and operated successful gas stations for decades, has apparently won the right to represent the Central Coast in the state Assembly.
Achadjian, a Republican, was well on his way to defeating Santa Maria Democrat Hilda Zacarias in a race that pitted two individuals with deep roots in their respective communities against one another. Libertarian Paul Polson of Arroyo Grande also was on the ballot.
With more than half the precincts counted in Santa Barbara County and more than one-third in San Luis Obispo County, Achadjian had 59 percent of the ballots to Zacarias’ 37 percent.
Achadjian will take over from Sam Blakeslee in the 33rd Assembly District.
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Achadjian’s election is not likely to bring about any substantive change in policy. Like his predecessor, Sam Blakeslee, Achadjian is a conservative who believes that what is good for business is good for the state.
“I at all times wear my business hat,” Achadjian told people attending a forum in September. He believes the state should balance its budget by reducing spending and supporting business. He opposes taxes and what he calls over-regulation.
Achadjian said Tuesday night that he is eager to get to Sacramento and seek ways for business to start investing, creating jobs and hiring.
He is best known locally for constituent service. He belongs to countless organizations and is a fixture at community events.